Politicians and Church Platforms

Thursday, September 16, 2010 \AM\.\Thu\.

MM is leading a campaign to protest a book-signing of Newt Gingrich’s latest book to be held at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. The book is “To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Regime” and Amazon provides a description.

For once, I agree with MM: the book-signing is a bad idea. I’m a very big believer of separation of church from state, and I don’t like the appearance that the Church is being co-opted here. The book isn’t religious; it’s political. Even if I would agree with what he says in the book, I’d rather it not be promoted by being offered at a Catholic bookstore, much less be publicized through a book-signing.

Unfortunately, this is not the grounds that is offered to oppose it. Instead, we find references to Newt’s “hyper-partisan” nastiness, his racism, and his serial adultery. I don’t wish to get into an argument about the virtues and vices of Newt’s career or his potential presidential candidacy (in part b/c being of the generation I am, I have little knowledge of what Newt did). However, I do find it useful for thinking about how the Church interacts with politics, in part b/c it’s not the only example in the last week. Tony Blair wrote a column published on the front page of the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, in anticipation of the Pope’s visit to the UK. There are a number of problems with Blair’s political career from the Church’s view, including his support for legalized abortion, gay marriage  and  the invasion of Iraq. While it doesn’t appear that Blair has political aspirations any longer, it brings up the question of how much past political failings ought to deter Church officials from granting a stage to politicians, particularly repentant ones?

Read the rest of this entry »


Who is Running for Prez in 2012?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 \PM\.\Tue\.

This is meant to be a fun post speculating about who might run for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Here’s my list, who do you think will run?

Likely Running:

Rick Santorum-former Senator from Pennsylvania

Tim Pawlenty- Governor of Minnesota

Mitt Romney-former Governor of Massachusetts

Still looking into it:

Mike Huckabee- former Governor of Arkansas

Mitch Daniels-Governor of Indiana

Sarah Palin-former Governor of Alaska

Newt Gingrich-former Speaker of the House

Long shots:

Bobby Jindal-Governor of Louisiana

Paul Ryan- Congressman from Wisconsin

Mike Pence-Congressman from Indiana

Tom Tancredo-former Congressman from Colorado

Ron Paul-Congressman from Texas

John Thune-Senator from South Dakota

Jeb Bush-former Governor of Florida

Analysis:

I think potential candidates like Huckabee and Palin have to be considered front runners in Iowa because of that state’s social and culture conservative leanings. Pawlenty may have an advantage in Iowa since he governs a neighboring state.  Meanwhile, I think potential candidates like Romney and Daniels will play well in New Hampshire. I think all the candidates are going to have to build their war chests for the remaining candidates. I don’t really see any one of the current candidates running away with the nomination early on, so it may be a long drawn out battle. I don’t think it will go the distance like Obama-Clinton, but its not going to be wrapped up in a few primaries. What do you think?


John Paul II: Nine Days That Changed the World

Monday, July 12, 2010 \AM\.\Mon\.

Nine Days That Changed the World is a film produced by Citizens United, Newt Gingrich’s, former Republican Speaker of the House and Catholic convert, group.  That Gingrich produced it will probably reduce the number of people who will see the film, due to the fact that Gingrich is subject to legitimate criticism for his past infidelities to his first two wives, and because he is a devil figure for the Left.  That is a shame because this film is a thoughtful look at one of the pivotal events in the last century:  the unraveling of the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, which began in Poland and was directly sparked by the visit of John Paul II in 1979 who inspired Lech Walesa and other Poles to found Solidarity and give voice to the Polish cry for freedom that ultimately prevailed.

In his address to the civil authorities in Poland on June 2, 1979, the Pope touched upon the never ending desire of the Poles for their independence:

We Poles feel in a particularly deep way the fact that the raison d’être of the State is the sovereignty of society, of the nation, of the motherland. We have learned this during the whole course of our history, and especially through the hard trials of recent centuries. We can never forget that terrible historical lesson—the loss of the independence of Poland from the end of the eighteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth. This painful and essentially negative experience has become as it were a new forge of Polish patriotism. For us, the word “motherland” has a meaning, both for the mind and for the heart, such as the other nations of Europe and the world appear not to know, especially those nations that have not experienced, as ours has, historical wrongs, injustices and menaces. And thus the last World War and the Occupation, which Poland experienced, were still for our generation such a great shock thirty-five years ago when this war finished on all fronts. At this moment there began the new period of the history of our motherland. We cannot however forget everything that influenced the experiences of the war and of the Occupation. We cannot forget the sacrifice of the lives of so many men and women of Poland. Neither can we forget the heroism of  the Polish soldier who fought on all fronts of the world “for our freedom and for yours”.

We have respect for and we are grateful for every help that we received from others at that time, while we think with sadness of the disappointments that we were not spared.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism Because Nonsensical Believers & Non Believers Are Unwittingly Showing Many the Way

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 \AM\.\Wed\.

Throughout the last few years and specifically the last decade or so, the voluminous number of kooky quotes and statements coming from religious believers (heterodox Catholics included) and non believers alike is mind boggling. It can’t but help push the reasonable minded into the Catholic Church. Most casual observers are familiar with the number of high profile converts and reverts to the Catholic Church in the last 25 years or so. They range from theological luminaries like Dr Scott Hahn and Dr Francis Beckwith to political figures like Deal Hudson, Laura Ingraham and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Many like them have come to the Church after years of study and reason, but many also have come to the Church after years of seeing their particular religious denomination become unrecognizable.

The latest world calamity has given us two examples of sheer kookery coming from a religious leader and a secular voice. After the horrific earthquake that left the western world’s most impoverished nation in tatters, the Reverend Pat Robertson chimed in with a quote that was not only tragically insensitive but historically inaccurate. The onetime presidential candidate (who actually came in second in the 1988 GOP Iowa Caucus) and a leading voice of the Evangelical world blamed the earthquake on Voodoo, a cult that sadly far too many people practice in Haiti.  Robertson voiced his opinion on his popular 700 Club television program. Robertson repeated the fundamentalist canard that in the early 1800s the leaders of a slave revolt fighting against French colonial forces forged a pact with the Satan to thrown off the chains of their oppressors.

Read the rest of this entry »


Newt Gingrich Opens Up On Catholic Conversion

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

Newt Gingrich

Dan Gilgoff of U.S. News & World Report had an interesting exchange with recent Catholic convert Newt Gingrich.  The  former House speaker who converted last March was on his way to Europe working on a documentary* on Pope John Paul II’s 1979 trip to Poland where Mr. Gilgoff asked if “he expected this trip to be different from previous visits”:

I don’t know that it’s much different. That’s part of what led to my conversion is the first time we [he and Callista**] went to St. Peter’s together. It’s St. Peter’s. I mean, you stand there and you think, this is where St. Peter was crucified. This is where Paul preached. You think to yourself, two thousand years ago the apostles set out to create a worldwide movement by witnessing to the historic truth they had experienced. And there it is. The last time we were there we were allowed to walk in the papal gardens and you get this sense that is almost mystical.

Read the rest of this entry »


Res & Explicatio for A.D. 4-22-2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 \PM\.\Wed\.

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. The HOT rumor of the day is that “Father John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, is in Washington today (Tuesday) for an unannounced meeting at the White House.”

Is he personally visiting with President Obama to offer his sincere apologies for rescinding the invitation to speak at the commencement?  Rescind the honorary law degree?  Ask for a job after he gets fired?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Phil Lawler of Catholic World News received a report from a reliable source of Fr. Jenkin’s unannounced visit to the White House and they cannot confirm this report yet.

In other news, this past Monday Fr. Jenkins expressed his profound pride in honoring the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history.

2. Have you seen Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s updated and revised blog?  It is awesome!

3. Even though the 2012 U.S. presidential elections are three years away we can dream and speculate who we would like to run for office between either a Democratic or Republican candidate (or even a legitimate third party candidate).  One name that has become quite intriguing to me is the former U.S. Representative from Georgia, Newt Gingrich.  His mea culpa of his previous marriages, his incredible intellect, speaking skills, and his recent conversion to our beautiful Catholic faith makes him my favorite for now.

Read the rest of this entry »


Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-4-2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

Salvete AC readers!

Due to popular acclamation I’m returning back to using Latin in my column title (mostly).  I think I’ve settled on a format so thanks for bearing with me.  I’ve wanted to do this type of column for a while and I believe I found the right balance, now if I can only be consistent in my posting.  So here we have today’s Top Seven Picks in the Catholic world:

1. Catholic News Agency has reported that a coalition of American Catholics calling themselves Catholic Advocate led by Deal W. Hudson have created a website opposing President Barack Obama’s choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services, pro-abortion Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.  The website is called www.catholicsagainstsebelius.org.  Governor Kathleen Sebelius is a dissident Catholic notorious for her direct and explicit support of abortionist George Tiller “the Killer”, whose known for executing late term abortions of innocent children.  Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City has met and counseled Governor Kathleen Sebelius on several occasions on her pro-abortion stance and has asked her to refrain from receiving Holy Communion.  However Governor Kathleen Sebelius has refused to obey and has openly opposed the good archbishop on these points.  Here is the link: http://www.catholicsagainstsebelius.org/

2. Kevin Knight (of New Advent) somehow found a little blurb buried in a long article that Newt Gingrich will soon convert to the Catholic faith as reported by the New York Times (7th paragraph on page 7 of the article ‘Newt. Again.’).

Updated: For a quick and eas(ier) read of the NY Times article go to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf’s blog here: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/03/fmr-speaker-gingrich-to-become-catholic/

3. When I click on my browser to go to InsideCatholic.com their web page takes quite a long time to download relative to any other Catholic website or blog that I surf.  I don’t know if it’s all the links or dense code, but my best guess is that their Content Management System that they ar using, Joomla, may be the cause of the slowdown.  The second longest page in the Catholic web to download is Damian Thompson’s Holy Smoke, but you place the blame of the downloading delay to his employer London’s Daily Telegraph (which is the best english language newspaper in the world in my humble opinion).

Read the rest of this entry »